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IT Red Flags to Watch Out For

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IT Red Flags to Watch Out ForAs someone running a SMB, you probably have a lot on your plate. You are the core decision maker, responsible for growing your business, keeping your clients happy and getting all the working done. Often, when you have so much going on, one area that gets overlooked is IT. When you are so busy looking into other things, the start of IT issues may slip your watchful eyes. In this blog, we discuss the IT red flags that you need to watch out for.Adware ambushThis happens generally when your internet browser has been hijacked and an adware has been sneaked into your system. When you try to surf the net using a hijacked browser, you will find online ads popping up everywhere. And by that we don’t mean the few sponsored search results or a couple of ads that show up when you browse a site. We are talking about ads showing up just about everywhere on your browser. Even a simple link click will take you to an unintended page. It is so evident, you just cannot miss…

Assessing your MSP in the first appointment

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Assessing your MSP in the first appointmentHanding over your IT to a MSP is a major decision. Who do you choose and more importantly, how? While there’s no rulebook that will tell you exactly how to proceed, here are a few hints that can help you decide how invested your prospective MSP is into you.How well do they know your industry verticalIt is important that your MSP truly understands the industry-specific IT challenges you face so they can help you overcome those challenges effectively. For example, do you have a commonly used software program or any governmental or regulatory mandates that you must be adhering to. Is your MSP knowledgeable on that front?How well do they know you and your valuesHow well does this MSP know your business in particular. Have they invested time in learning a bit about you from sources other than you--like your website, press releases, etc.? Do they understand your mission, vision and values and are they on the same page as you on those? This is impo…

Hiring seasonal staff? Here are a few things to consider from the IT

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Hiring seasonal staff? Here are a few things to consider from the IT perspectiveIn many industries, there are seasonal spikes in business around specific times. For example, CPAs/Accounting firms, though busy all year, generally see a spike in business around the time of tax planning, IRS return filing, etc., the retail industry sees a boom around the Holiday Season, and so on. During such peak times, it is common practice in the industry to employ part-time staff to meet the immediate resource needs. While this works well in terms of costs and for handling additional work/client inflow, this poses a few challenges from the IT perspective. In this blog, we explore those challenges so you know what to watch out for before bringing part-time staff on board.SecurityWhen you are hiring someone part-time, security could be a concern. You or your HR person may have done a background check, but their risk score nevertheless remains much higher than permanent employees who are on your payro…

3 Things to consider before you sign-up with a cloud services provider

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3 Things to consider before you sign-up with a cloud services providerMore and more SMBs are migrating to the cloud and that is not a surprise considering the numerous benefits the cloud can offer them. For a SMB, the cloud is a cost efficient and secure answer to their growing data needs and IT security requirements. The cloud grows with them and lets them scale their business without worrying about a corresponding rise in IT costs. Plus, with the cloud, the important aspects of security and backups are mostly taken care of by the cloud service provider. And then, there’s the convenience of any-time-anywhere data access. With all these benefits that the cloud brings, what’s there to think about before signing up with a cloud service provider? While are a lot of benefits of storing your data on the cloud, but your data is still yours, so there are a few things you need to know and be comfortable with before you jump onto the cloud.Data storage locationAsk your cloud services provide…

Migrating to Windows 10: Should you let go of your hardware

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Migrating to Windows 10: Should you let go of your hardwareWhile you can purchase and install Windows 10 in your existing PCs–the ones currently on Windows 7 OS–it is not recommended. According to Microsoft, Windows 10 has the following minimum requirements

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.Display: 800x600If your existing PCs don’t meet the above requirements, it’s time to move on. The above list are minimums. The market today has PCs with better specs that will help you get the most out of Windows 10 and make the switch to the new OS more productive and efficient.

Windows 7 was one of the most loved, user-friendly and efficient versions of Windows. This switch sure won’t be easy. It also entails quite a bit of investment in terms of money, downtime and training. Reaching out to a Microsoft-licensed mana…

Windows 7 End of Life: What options do you have

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Windows 7 End of Life: What options do you haveAs Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7 from January 2020, what choices do you have as a Windows 7 user? While Windows 7 will work after January 2020– it won’t just “shut down”–as a business, you cannot afford to use the older version because it makes you vulnerable to security threats. That leaves you with only 2 options.

Option 1: Purchase extended support

Microsoft is offering the option to purchase extended support for Windows 7 until 2023. Though the exact price of the extended support option is not known, it is estimated to be around $350 per device for 3 years.

But, one thing for you to think about before investing in extended support for your existing Windows 7 devices is that after 3 years you will have to migrate to a newer OS no matter what. In the meantime, your newer software programs or apps may not be compatible with Windows 7.

Option 2: Ring out the old and bring in the new--UPGRADE!

If you choose not to opt for Windows 7 exte…

Windows 7 End of Life: How does it impact you

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Windows 7 End of Life: How does it impact youMicrosoft has officially announced the “End of Life” date for Windows 7. It will come January 14, 2020. Windows 7 was introduced in 2009 and is one of the most popular versions of Windows. It is estimated that around 40% of Windows OS is 7. So, if you are one of the Windows 7 users, read this blog to understand how this end of life announcement impacts you and what you should be doing.

End of life means, beyond January 2020, users of Windows 7 will not get any updates, security patches, or any kind of support from Microsoft. Does this mean you need to scrap all your devices that run on the Windows 7 OS? Technically, the answer is no.You can still continue to use your existing computer with Windows 7 OS, but it won’t get the free security patches and updates. This makes your computer and possibly your whole IT network vulnerable to malware and other IT security threats. Plus, as a business, running Windows 7 OS without the security patches an…